December 24, 2012 8:23 AM
The immediate future of interior home design sure looks familiar. Because as a new year approaches, it’s an old look that promises to be at the forefront.
Perhaps out of necessity, one of the stronger trends being embraced by consumers and designers alike is the art of repurposing.
And with the state of today’s economy, it’s little wonder. New furniture and home décor prices can be exorbitant while quality seems to be declining.
Repurposing allows consumers to take something that has outlived its original purpose and give it renewed life.
“A big part of our focus, as well as many national designers, is repurposing — basically using what you already have, but making it new and different,” said Rich Schell, owner of Rich Designs Home in Colorado Springs.
Schell admits that economic factors have contributed to the popularity of this trend.
“Older furniture tends to be higher quality, while new furniture can be awfully expensive,” he said. “For the same price or less, we can refurbish, repurpose and reuse furniture that has become less desirable.”
By repurposing, consumers can incorporate vintage and antique artifacts into new creations. These pieces add a distinct warmth that’s hard to find in mass-produced furniture.
“People want to find interesting, unique, one-of-a-kind pieces rather than the same things everyone else has,” Schell said.
Furniture from the middle of the 20th century offers an opportunity for repurposing and recycling old pieces such as accent chairs, desks, hutches or dressers.
That old, beat-up kitchen table you inherited from your grandma can become a chic writing desk or the centerpiece of your dining room. With new fabric, paint and some TLC, that faded, squeaky chair can regain its place of prominence in your living room.
“Today’s youth, in their 20s or 30s, are rediscovering furniture that was popular in the 1940s or ’50s, when their parents were kids,” Schell said.
Even if what you own appears damaged and worn — maybe to the point of no return — those items can be given new life. Designers are mixing industrial with traditional, modern with vintage. Anything can become a prized piece of furniture.
Consumers, antiques dealers and designers are all looking at items with a fresh perspective.
And some see repurposing as another way to “go green” by not unnecessarily depleting the planet’s resources.
Bringing old, shabby products back to life can be quite satisfying. A common practice used to be tossing things out or sticking them in storage. Now time-worn elegance adds character and individuality that’s comfortable and smart.
Familiar never looked so good.